'Strikes at very core of Constitution...' 262 eminent persons write to CJI, seek action on Udhayanidhi Stalin
Citing a 2021 Supreme Court ruling that directed state governments to proactively address hate speech crimes without awaiting formal complaints, the letter emphasizes the imperative need for suo moto registration of cases and the prosecution of offenders according to the law
A collective of 262 distinguished individuals has penned an open letter to Chief Justice of India, Justice DY Chandrachud, urging him to take appropriate action against the Tamil Nadu government for its failure to take action upon the hate speech by state minister Udhayanidhi Stalin targeting Sanatan Dharma.
This initiative, coordinated by former Delhi High Court judge Justice SN Dhingra and Shipping Secretary Gopal Krishna, implores the apex court to initiate suo moto contempt proceedings, holding the state government of Tamil Nadu accountable for its inaction. It also calls for decisive measures to prevent the proliferation of hate speech, thereby safeguarding public order and peace.
The letter highlights that Udhayanidhi Stalin's statements unequivocally constitute hate speech against a substantial portion of India's population and directly challenge the essence of the Indian Constitution, which envisions India as a secular nation. Furthermore, it underscores that the rule of law suffered further erosion when the Tamil Nadu government failed to take any action against Udhayanidhi Stalin and instead chose to defend his remarks.
"Udhayanidhi Stalin's remarks undeniably amount to hate speech against a large population of India and strikes at the very core of the Constitution of India which envisages Bharat as a secular nation," they said.
Citing a 2021 Supreme Court ruling that directed state governments to proactively address hate speech crimes without awaiting formal complaints, the letter emphasizes the imperative need for suo moto registration of cases and the prosecution of offenders according to the law. Failure to act in accordance with these directions would be deemed contempt of court, as per the letter.
Recalling Udhayanidhi's likening of Sanatan Dharma to diseases such as coronavirus, malaria, and dengue, along with his assertion that it should not be opposed but eradicated, the letter further emphasizes his stance on uprooting Sanatan Dharma in the name of promoting humanity and human equality.
Udhayanidhi's refusal to apologize for his remarks is also highlighted, underscoring the inescapable conclusion that his statements constitute hate speech against a substantial portion of India's population and fundamentally challenge the core principles of the Indian Constitution.
The letter underscores the significance of Sanatan Dharma, describing it as a set of duties embraced by Hindus, an 'eternal' that remains eternally relevant, and an ideology that grants freedom to individuals of the Hindu faith to select their mode of worship. It concludes by expressing concern about the hate speech's impact on a large segment of India's populace and its contradiction of the Constitution of India.
The eminent individuals assert their commitment to the cause and their readiness to confront any challenges, be it in a court of law or in the court of public opinion, to stop the dissemination of false information. They highlight the importance of preserving Sanatan Dharma and its role in the lives of Hindus, emphasizing that it is an integral aspect of their identity and faith.
See the full list of signatories below